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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 5, 2011 8:30pm-10:00pm EDT

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home. he said i can operate on a global market and abstain. this is like one tiny example of the way in which businesses of any size to be competitive in global system will take her walking by themselves and being able to invest in a place where they can get the right kind of service and the infrastructure. >> host: marietje schaake come in a recent interview you commented you don't have wi-fi and your office in brussels. the >> guest: well, i am afraid that our institutions are not always has opened up and connected as they should be. there's a lot of opportunity and when it comes to simple things as wi-fi, but also when it comes to open data and collaborative policymaking. i think we as policymakers must drag our institutions into the 21st century to be more connected to citizens and his opportunities of interaction, connection, communication and collaborative processes.
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so we have work to do in our own houses well and that is actually relevant on a number of issues because we can only be credible in the rest of the world and credible towards our citizens if we practice what we preach. >> guest: very quickly, what is your biggest frustration that comes to telecommunications policy in the e.u.? >> guest: i think it has to do with leaderships. what we are seeing now with the body we have within the european commission, we have dutch commissioners were mentioning in terms of potential agenda wanted to be sure to get the right kind of broadband speeds by 2015. i worry personally whether those objectives are not actually ambitious enough given the way in which the global economy is moving so quickly. it is a frustration many don't consider digital as being part of the main policy. over the air for nerds and others who might understand something about these new technologies. we came across yesterday anybody
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over 25 who is natural because he grew up with it. the whole generation, people like myself have come to it. you have to adapt to the fact the internet has come to the right a huge revolution. your adoption is your doing a job and they have is this all fit together? i would like people to take time out for a moment or two unlike the u.s. president who has a sound internet better than most to be able to understand, not to be afraid of, but something that will help you do your job and make sure we can indeed be competitive in the future. >> host: -based schaake, biggest frustration. after the fragmentation in europe and the difficulty in understanding the scope and in that sense i fully agree with james. i think there is an increasing gap between the young generation of entrepreneurs, consumers,
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students, citizens who are living in europe and who expect certain services, conductivity can expect to make certain choices and their political leaders have difficulty grasping what's going on. and every day the earth is fragmented and doesn't get its act together and harmonizes the digital market, and you know, china, brazil, the u.s. get ahead of us. and we owe it to the opportunity and potential of europe to bring the whole european union into the 21st century and connected. this requires a lot of work, but it's very urgent that we get there. so that's my main concern. posts are very quickly, here in washington, are your mobile device is working? >> guest: my mobile devices work. >> host: is it expensive? >> guest: yeah, of course.
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>> guest: i haven't had a problem. i must say, and from where i live, is the real thing to not have to go down the road and get a signal. it's nice to get one when he bought one. >> host: james elles has been a member of the parliament since 1984. is also cofounder of the european internet foundation. marietje schaake has been a member of the parliament since 2009 from the netherlands. we appreciate you both coming onto "the communicators." kim hart as always of the "politico," thank you. >> thank you. >> steve early examines the current organizing strategies and structures of many labor unions in the united states. he also reports on the internal conflicts in 2008 to 2010 but according to the author hurt reputations unanchored supporters. this is about an hour and 20
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minutes. >> i want to thank everybody for coming out tonight. i want to thank the busboys team. and it is a great team, which tonight includes christine taylor from booktv at c-span. i want to thank her for doing the video were. it's going to make the proceedings more formal than we were at the 14th in the location and did a number with the microphones floating around in mainly a question. period going to talk for about 15 minutes so they get some tape is something in them will have to do the questions union convention style. you're going to have to line up at the mike and you're not going to get a chance to speak unless you see the green light go on. i have my finger on that control. when i get to the question period, it will be lively. i know it will be. this new labour series that busboys and poets has initiated
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it at the leaflet said event for air and bright. one barbra fan in the house. it is an important addition to the local labor community. it is no coincidence that don allen, the busboys managers so commended to put a nonprogramming that is going to enable us to showcase labor related books, films, cultural events. hopefully photography exhibit. don allen is the sun that a striker, who 30 years ago this summer was fired with 12,000 of his coworkers and growing up in that family can be formative to say the least. i want to thank and then down again for the opportunity to be here tonight. i did some quick calculations of who's in the room. and particularly with all of my old friends from cwi and unions
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represented, we probably have about 1500 to 2000 years worth of experience here in labor lawyering, labor organizing, labor education, labor oriented academic work, labor community coalition building and plain old labour troublemaking. so i know that with this wealth of experience, we are going to have a great discussion. among our very special guests who i want to introduce, first is one of the courageous nurses at washington hospital center who went out on strike last friday. [applause] sister bernice, if you could stand up. [cheers and applause] hopefully can canapé is not here firmly at the umw and now the national nurses in a service.
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he needs can talk a little bit more about the issues involved and not strike. readers of the hard copy of the "washington post." you will notice i'm sure that the washington hospital center is spending tens of thousands of dollars with the folks of this community, how much they care about patient care and quality of the care that they provide. money that would be better spent agreeing to the union's proposals for staffing ratios and other improvements that i need in their contract is rn to better serve the people who use that hospital. we had another strike last week a similar significance. 1200 nurses at kaiser permanente and los angeles last wednesday. by viewing camp another members and mr. meyer with the new national kultur workers. there is some confirmation
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envelopes and an update on and uh debut activity. this is an important new addition to the labor working california and a subject of much of this new book, civil wars. i want to thank labor notes, which has been helping out at her. i want to thank my host here in washington d.c. sister linda foley. where is linda? [applause] always quick to put me up when other people would have me sleeping in west potomac park. linda, as many of you know is a former member of the executive order and past president of my old union, the newspaper guild. i always want to recognize and thank for their sponsorship and turn out tonight, and hot and, national vice president of the
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writers union, uaw. my current union affiliation. [applause] and i want to thank my publisher haymarket and recognize the great haymarket author, date siren, who many of you, if you're a sports fans know is the most knowledgeable left commentator on the world of professional and amateur sports. got a great new movie out. haymarket author. this little civil wars up to her started last week with events in hartford and my hometown of boston and amherst, massachusetts and cleveland last weekend. last night, we had an event in the city of in the baltimore orioles and the great newspaper showed the wire and a little place called red m.s., which is
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a radical bookstore downtown. i have a souvenir to prove that i was there. maybe busboys needs to invest in a booty like this. how many people here and i know inside the beltway book audiences are little more buttoned up, straightlaced, respectful. how many of you have been to read comments? well, i miss medway audience. good to see this no longer a mccarthy era and people are willing to frequent an amicus book story. a great bunch of people connected to a keypress and other progressive publisher. like busboys in the hole the whole independent bookstores around the country, places we need to patronize as many people clearly do here because if we don't, what will he have left? it seems just barnes & noble and borders and maybe soon might not
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be much of a place to buy books at. we had a great group of workers of student activists at this event last night. one of them was in partnership man from the sociology club at towson state college. knowing that i was in mixed company and not everybody was necessarily up to speed on our bewildering away of acronyms that we throw around in the labor movement, i was spelling everything out. i didn't want to leave any non-insiders, young or old completely baffled by the alphabet soup groups that were all that were that were all part is. i started mentioning the international brotherhood of teamsters several times. i was talking that sandy pokes great campaign for the presidency of the ivt. this young man got very puzzled. i can see it in a space. finally he raised his hand and he said, what is a teamster? in now, a guy with rapidfire
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answers as their truckers. they work for ups and handle packages and working warehouses and rattled off a long list. and then i realized. and i thought to myself, he has every right to be mystified, right? he was 20. but it sure shows, you know, how last century it is that, you know, we have an occupation from the previous century prominently featured in the name of one of our largest american unions. and how last century it is to young people and how probably it is quite offputting to them that in 2011, that union is still project is a brotherhood rather than a brotherhood and a sisterhood when in fact represents 400,000 women workers, one of his sister
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sandy, who will hopefully be the next international president. and as we know, a number of unions but brotherhood in the name of grappled with this question of possibly coming up with a more gender neutral or gender equal name, one of them even at knowledge is the existence of the recent invention of electricity. the ibew. anyway, this was kind of a dope slap. if hamas made me a convert to a more modern, 21st century thinking kind of guy or friend, andy stern who is now at george turned, visiting professor. the salt labor representative as you may recall of the presidents cat food commission and a valuable new member of the board of directors of seagate technology appeared intracompany. i don't know if you notice
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brother mandy is emeritus of seiu, gave an interview this week in which he said and i quote, they -- that is us, unions seem like a legacy institution and not an institution of the future. see, our retirement kind of distances you from us. ds is now done and india set up nowhere. anyway, this kind of tracks are thinking as many people in corporate america and firms like general electric, which brother chris townsend has those pleasure join with verizon, who continually try to consign us to the past, rhetorically at least with their constant repetition and references to legacy contracts and legacy benefits, the latter of which we are now told are no longer affordable
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anywhere in the country come in either the private or public sector. we seem to be headed that those cheeseheads guarding to the hart and cairo by the lake in wisconsin. brother about human camp, south of audience diversity of wisconsin. brother mike l., who is probably a twittering. a great young labor journalist just returned from madison. so if we were going to get some reports from the front a little later from bobby knight. anybody else for not dare? david, chris? okay, we've got a whole bunch of out of state cheerleaders. what i see on the internet is now called the chatter revolution. that may just say that the chatter revolution has been a bit of a boom to both pedaling on this particular tour. the folks at haymarket, even though they are a bit saddled with a name from two centuries
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ago, 134-year-old laborer reference, you know, came up with a subtitle, birth of a new workers union or death throes of the old? very savvy marketing because it enabled me, if things are going well in the labor movement, to answer questions about events that would dwell rather gloomily on the subject of organizational death and dying for if events broke her way, which they have in the last month, focus more happily on prospects of a rebirth of the labor movement. so i want to just say a few words about obviously what has been so exciting, particularly for those who have had first-hand involvement about the upsurge in madison. talk a little about how some of the subject matter overlaps with the book, which was finished up before this great development occurred and then open it up for questions because we have a lot of folks here that want to
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contribute to the discussion. clearly, one of the most exciting things about the events in madison and a kind of relates to how do we reach people like the young fellow who was not sure what a teamster is, the true we need if we are going to be something other than a geriatric culture is the labor movement. if we are going to tap into the energy and idealism of our young role. and clearly, any account of the struggle has paid tribute to the leading role of high school students, college students and the teaching assistants, who are the vanguard of the struggling members of the union that rather bought new in camp founded nearly 40 years ago in madison as an outgrowth of 60s act as them. the fact that they did not take
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a business as usual approach to lobbying and we all know what that is. how many people have been on a capital? already. at tends to be highly ritualistic intends to involve being polite and having talking points prepared by the union staff and showing up on time for appointments with our betters in the political class and tipping our hack and hoping for the best. well, these folks have a lobby day they brought their sleeping bags and they didn't leave at 5:00 in the occupied the state capital like it was in administration building in madison circa 1969. and they stayed for days and weeks. and that galvanized as we've seen folder with workers and the teachers and 79, on the faculty in most significant blame for the kind of unity we need to rebuild the labor movement, workers in the private sector. my friends in the ibew work
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across an electric in building trade workers, we saw the picture of the globe today. it pipefitter come a plumber holding up a sign still out there in madison yesterday supporting public workers. within the public workers under attack by governor walker, one of a number of republican workers as we know going after public employees in the mid-last it would've been easy for cops and firefighters and for firefighters and four shall he backed this guy to have opted out of the struggling in fact we have seen the very opposite, particularly firefighters, but also police expressing very strong support for the teachers, state workers at the county of municipal workers, we are all going to be affected by this attempt to strip public site to your wisconsin workers are bargaining rights. at the bottom tier of the public here, in wisconsin and other states, and this is something i do write about quite a bit in
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the book, you know, we have the largest source of newly organized union members who are also at risk in these struggles in band, ohio, indiana and states like new jersey, where brother csonka comes out of the private sector in new jersey is here tonight in the cwa vice president had a huge rally in schaake and were confronted with chris christie. i don't know if you saw his mug on the cover of "the sunday times" magazine a week or two ago. the guy has a voracious appetite for a number of rings. contract concessions are among them. in new jersey not these other states on the cwa, ast, uaw all following the lead of seiu have organized in toto five, 600,000 home-based workers, home health areas, home day care providers in the last 10 years, biggest source of new union membership
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and has gained a very precarious foothold in the public sector for these workers who work in nontraditional work places, predominately female, nonwhite, often immigrant workers. many in the case of our joint bargaining unit, child care providers in new jersey would ask me, still trapped in the workfare. women are in the temporary assistance. so lost in this debate, if you can call it that in some media outlets about the overpaid benefit lattin, privileged, protect good, pampered public sector employee is the fact that there is a huge underclass on the recently organized at the second tier of recently diaz public-sector employment, who are losing their rights and recently acquired contract detections. ohio with the stroke of a pen destroyed two units.
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one seiu of health care aides at risk in wisconsin and so on in other states. so within the public sector, at all levels of the occupational structure, workers are coming together, a line with students, with the community, with what remains the jury union activism to fend off these attacks. one of the things that i think is most inspiring to see in the bottom-up solidarity, sea and the rank-and-file initiatives commenced in the costing and networking, seeing people voicing their opposition to these attacks on collective bargaining and through mass actions that we haven't seen since public employees for scott organized in the 60s and 70s
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and industrial workers had the great upsurge in the 1930s. the question of course is going to be how to institutionalize that? part of the activist networks that are being created by these mobilizations in the midwest and elsewhere survive when and if some of their unions to lose bargaining rights and that is i think a challenging topic of conversation tonight. let me just say that i think we would've been in a stronger position to fend off these attacks if we had not had this strange of costly disasters and enter union conflicts described in civil wars. that story is a sad one because of conflicts between seiu and aspi over home care workers in a number of states in 2005. it moves on to the raging rattles between the california nurses who are now the anchor for national nurses united and
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seiu and health care facilities and a number of states, including california, nevada, ohio. the development of a reform movement, challenging leadership of seiu in which i personally thought was a long overdue and healthy development in 2008 lead at her good sal roselli, president of the united health care workers come the third-largest affiliate come 150,000 member local, very dynamic. the kind of organization that any union would've love to have as part of its union went uh w., with the help of number of people in the spring began to network, began to build a broader teamsters for democratic union style style of reform caucus within seiu, challenge the leadership at the san juan convention in puerto rico in 2008. they essentially set the stage for a leadership cracked down as
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the imposition quite literally of martial law. two years ago in california, and discern any other scid leaders removed 100 alleged leaders of uh w., basically occupied the local, removed hundreds of stewards and the second purchase trusteeship and labor history. at the same time, even though they were both part of the dynamic of labor federation known as change to win, seiu turned its guns here, particularly the hotel worker side of the fellow founding union of change to win, i'm a she and another whole front of civil warfare, while all this is going on on the main mentor of course you had the seiu attack on the puerto rican teachers. three years ago, 45,000 teachers and militant units, snp art went
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on an island wide strike of the puerto rico. it was decertified construct a bargaining rights when it took a strike vote. then governor puerto rico refused to bargain any further. the strike had a lot of support in puerto rico. it was over the critical issue of privatization of the schools. seiu, which represents schools superintendents and principals and other school employees was well-positioned to provide solidarity. instead of doing that, dennis rivera and other leaders of seiu try to cut a deal with the then indicted governor to replace the whole seiu convention in 2008 in puerto rico is designed to build that campaign. the fmpr was excluded when the
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puerto rican teachers resounded they voted no, rejected seiu sprayed and thousands of them still pay dues voluntary to be fmpr from which continues to struggle and not having it restored its bargaining rights. so this whole series of inter-and intra- union conflicts, which i estimate resulted in the expenditure of about $140 million when you add up the cost of all of those involved came at a very inopportune moment. it came in a moment we were told in the fall of 2008 was going to be pregnant with clinical opportunity. the first to use me the obama administration were going to achieve are too high highest parities, real health care reform is strengthening of the national labor relations act and the employee choice act. in civil wars, energy with considerable evidence that both of the critical campaigns were very much undermined by this internal dysfunction in the
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civil wars described to the group, some of which have been settled happily in the case of the continuing successful collaboration now between cna and nmu and seiu within health care corporation of america, the last few months and can say kansas, florida, and texas come the two unions working together rather than fighting each other organize close to 25,000 rns another hospital workers. in california and the struggle goes on between and each uw and importer rico, the 12 liters of the fmpr, including brasil palacio hernandez, the military social president of the union, we are all just fired from their jobs. they are teaching licenses revoked in direct retaliation for their having been strike readers to 2008 and continuing to wage a very militant struggle
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against school privatization in puerto rico ever since. democratic administration that only casually interested in advancing the cause of labor, and certainly if we in the private sector haven't been so destructive in health care and include service motels and the
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school system and puerto rico and built the kind of grass-roots movement in the public sector in response to the recent attacks we would have been much closer of 2008 and 2009 for the real health care reform wouldn't have been sidelined and marginalized and pushed aside so easily perhaps we wouldn't have had the wipeout of the labor by the republicans last fall. as part of the working class backlash against the failure of the obama administration to achieve so much that we hoped it would win so many people in this movement and her brought the movement campaigned to elect president obama in the fall of 2008. why don't we stop there and throw it open. i want to thank everybody for coming and i again apologize for the formality of having to approach the microphone but i
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know many people in this room are used to doing that and have done so effectively over the years and much more daunting circumstances. [applause] >> would you like to lead off by telling us more about what happened on friday? [applause] >> good evening everyone. i'm one of the nurses at the hospital center who went on strike on friday and we've been locked out about five days. we are going to be allowed to go back to work tomorrow thanks to the attorneys of the hospital that was their gift to us to allow us to come back to work tomorrow. on friday we went on strike the nurses the decided to go on strike went on about 7 a.m. in the morning and we proceeded to kick it around the hospital. they called in the d.c. police. it was very hostile. the police at the hospital where every hostile and pushing us to
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make sure we couldn't get close to the hospital but we had a lot of support from the community and a rally about noon and support from a lot of different unions in the city into was very encouraging for us to see the people truly support us as nurses and our goal and drive to make sure the biggest hospital in the city provides the care and also a hospital is trying to put out to the community that it's just about money it's not just about money. to us it is a part of our contract but at the end of the day we need more nurses of the hospital to ensure that we are providing great care and although we are going back to work tomorrow and don't have a contract settled we are going to continue to fight and continue to rally as much support as we can to ensure that the washington hospital center finishes the contract and implements of the things we need in order to have ^ the hospital. [applause]
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>> [inaudible] it's greatly appreciated in the council and the district [inaudible] that's made 142 million in the last year and continues to surprise us [inaudible] contact your local officials in support of the nurses. [applause]
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>> i just want to be sure to recognize brother arthur a lot of these book parties i've been having have taken on the form of a cast party because the civil war has a large cast of characters and i wanted to recognize him in particular before he left. darfurian i worked together at a reform group in the late 70's called the provincial drivers council he was one of the founders of and is one of the foremost in democracy will years in the country and has been representing the reformers in a number of different unions for decades and did some great work on behalf of the members of the united healthcare workers are not the key issues involving the abuse of the international union and other violations of the land of the griffin act. [applause] >> all right.
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we have somebody approaching the microphone or -- david. sestak i am here from seattle for the postal workers conference and today i call dressed up and visited the house of ill repute after which we went to the senate. [laughter] so my question or sort of a comment i guess the big deal that changed in the labor movement around the emergence of john sweeney, that election many years ago and in eastern becoming a big leader was this whole realization the labor organizer, the simple and basic idea, organize, organize. that became the watchword and was admired from afar. they did organize lots of workers but then somehow things went wrong and i guess what was
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wrong with the model? i noticed some unions tend to be heavily staffed based and these are people who might be bright college students who are progressive and eager and well intentioned but they don't have a base and maybe they have never done the job and don't trust the workers to organize themselves and the organize and move on so i remember the debate over that models organization and is that what went on? as a staff person you have no political power so you can't say this is wrong or if you do your fire and you get a job someplace else so i'm wondering what people's thoughts or as to where they go wrong and the promise of it, was a false promise to start with, is it a bad model just throwing out there for your thoughts? >> excellent question. david is on the policy of labor notes longtime rank-and-file activist and the postal union as he said in seattle agreed an
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unexpected visitor here inside the beltway i've never seen you look so spiffy. did you bring your sleeping bag for this lobbying convention? very good questions and ones that are addressed from my own perspective in the book of verse that have been involved organized campaigns, leverage campaigns, designs neutralized and organizing a lot of different industries have had to grapple individually in the organization with some of these questions or the appropriate trade-offs in the density and the democracy to the growth and contract standards, what are the quid pro quo that we should agree to for getting an employer like at&t kaiser or the hotel chain's who give us a free and fair election agreement or card check or some form of neutrality what are they looking
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for in return, what kind contract are the workers going to have are they going to have an opportunity to get the contract would hold to overtime and approved the contract conditions and they are going to be locked into the deal that strips them of any voice in the workplace and generates revenue for the union partly with the employer and made the organizing rights deals so a lot of contradictions in the strategy which i argue in the book kind of public and propelled a lot of these interunit and conflicts i just mentioned. >> first of all thanks for writing this book. it's a much needed discussion. i was in madison for five days, life changing experience if there ever was one if for no other reason to see the contingent of 3010-year-olds that said put spotty in the potty. [laughter] i will never forget, but i have
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a couple questions and the first is the people of madison, the workers of wisconsin have been absolutely hero look over the last several weeks. how do you assess and reactions of the union leadership at this point? and the second question i had is i was talking to the brother chris towns and about if you look at the republican governors association web site versus the democratic governors' association website and the r-ga web site is like support scott walker, defend scott walker this is all about scott walker and you go to the bg a website and there's no mention of wisconsin on the home page and it's a shocking contrast and my question is part of the problem that the labor movement invests hundreds of millions of dollars in a political party that sees them at best as an annoyance and at worst something to be held in actual content. islamic people are going to
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believe to think these questions are orchestrated. [laughter] >> this is a serve as we've heard of solidarity of workers and authors i go to dave's evin at the microphone let's hear from the -- >> i want to hear another from madison if you want to respond to the question what is the leadership up to you were just up there and perhaps you could report on it. for the meeting as you have been reporting for the other outlets. >> first i want to say this is an incredibly creative book and tough to write and anybody that is a labor journalist critical you start getting bashed as a left-wing union buster so long to say that. >> i have heard that accusation. estimate the incredible thing is there's an article that steven greenhouse of "the new york times" wrote the other day where he said we are going to use this
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incredible to organize a dozen different and it was going to help organize wal-mart. he wrote this incredible article. the one thing you do in your book is you take it up the different levels from the academic scholars to the labor journalists to the international presence to the rank and file local levels and see that the labor movement is not an gerry in the making a statement or a new ad coming out which is typically what people like steven greenhouse do but it's getting people to come to a meeting in all these parts coming together. why do you think it is so many reporters like steven greenhouse are so easy and all of in the organizing and this is important because the story has been at this was something organized by the asl and while the membership got way out ahead of the
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leadership we see some of the anticoncession movement that's nothing else so the questions that might tie into that pit >> i'm not a greenhouse and. i liked his book. a lot of his reporting stinks' in my view because he is to oriented towards talking to people with the top, talking to the topping the the talking heads who have not been involved in organizing for 35 years of the ever, never handled a grievance common never negotiated a contract, never done actual trade union what the experts and part of his operating with is the constraints of journalism and part of it is his own tendency to frame a things very badly. his own kind of elite by yes. he does have problems with his editors. he was terrible on top of the nation the other day and this is not averitt and arbuckle. i don't know if you heard him. he come in a discussion of
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pensions, the terrible problem of the pension public worker announced many public workers and he is referring to wisconsin retire with more than $100,000 a year. i ran from my review to the dictionary and i looked at the word many nie immelt him and asked him for some statistical corroboration of the claim. silence on the greenhouse in the and then i send an article, from the respected academics who had done a little research apparently the greenhouse didn't do much the media and the pension for the wisconsin public workers is about 24,000 a year. and only 2% retired with more than $100,000 a year. maybe a little pensions like.
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again, i forwarded this information to the brother greenhouse. we are descanting a fellow newspaper member here and again, no response. i've complained about him to the public editor, his coverage of the kaiser campaign last fall is terrible and his coverage of the past telecom conflicts has been really shoddy and bill, one of his predecessors, to put a more positive spin on what the times when can do the lieberman it would go out and cover the strikes and talk to the workers. he understood the labor movement was a little bigger than andy, john and bruce or john sweeney or whoever else, greenhouse picks up the phone and talks to come he doesn't talk to enough workers. occasionally goes through and did an interesting article for the jimmy johnson campaign and with the industrial workers are doing. before we commit to the ever questions david raised.
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you won't be on book tv if you don't approach the microphone. >> you never told us what a teamster was by the way. [laughter] skin gets the guy that cracks the whip. >> we could use it. >> today is international women's day and that provoked my question. the organizing seems to me part of the war that you're talking about took place in the health care industry which many people regard health care as a drain on the economy and i would say health care is the economy off. it's the growing industry and you may agree with the funding but nevertheless it is.
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the -- there are two reasons this is happening and one is because it is a growth industry unlike the others the other is the prominence and the activism of the women with in that role. to extend -- i looked in europe. i didn't have a chance to read all of it while i was eating my sandwich but i did look up the index and it doesn't mention specifically women by word nor race. to what extent do those play a role in the civil war that you described? >> certainly it was involved in the home based child care and health care aide organizing as predominately female. nursing home how workers often
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again, female, hospital workers in california on some of the leaders in response to this is imposed two years ago to the women. i think there are profiles and courage throughout the book. they help build up the california nurses association and build relationships with the state nurse organization and the nurses' organization here in d.c.. roseanne is a very outspoken in the recent weeks about what strategy the labor movement should adopt and the relentless demand for the concessions in the public sector. we have a bit of a difference of opinion between those who are
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just going to breathe a sigh of relief but willing to give away the score to do that's as long as we check off and there's hot serious problems with the bargaining. it didn't end up in a good place in the private sector when that was seen as a survival strategy back in the 1980's and the industry, the auto industry, meatpacking and so on down the line. so, it's good to see again a woman and a union leader challenged the conventional wisdom that was expressed in the op-ed piece in "the wall street journal" but what we need to offer is a shared sacrifice. i notice that he's not offering to share the sacrifice that's been imposed on the of the members. he's not offering to have the
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two year pay freeze or start paying more for his pension or could you read more for his health care. so he should be more cautious about proposing that as a labor strategy. i think the framing and the message in this kind of a deeply flawed. you are the health care expert one of many in the room. do you want to speak to the question of health care and why it became a battleground? you are shaking your head. [laughter] >> an outburst of shyness. >> i have a question specifically about your book. i haven't read yet but i would like to and it has to do with a few focused only on unions to worry part of the afl-cio i raise this because the american federation of government employees is involved in a huge campaign right now to represent transportation, safety officers and the tsa and the national treasury employees union has
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come very late to buy for those workers, and i want to know if your research spoke to that of all specifically because it is one of the unions that really had been growing in the face of lots of union starting. if we can add among the carnage other levels of the public sector 30 or 45 new federal members and the union of their choice and my personal preference would be the scene to have more support in logan in boston and the folks i've talked to in the traveling five done it's not covered in the book. and to acknowledge that the obama administration did make some changes in the national mediation board in the election rules that have supposedly made
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it easier to win elections in the airline industry and this long overdue representation was going to be coming this year it is unfortunate again when there's an opportunity for the major and this is many years coming when it was created in 2002, 2003 the suddenly there is the competition. on the other hand, i must say that in some of the situations having the choice is helpful. it's not always a waste of resources. if you believe in the employee free trade it shouldn't be a right and it is a right under law but can we exercise not just once when you meet your first choice of the union and then you are stuck with it but it proves to be responsive and effective for not its something people should have the opportunity to
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exercise more frequent, more over time as a tool for making sure that the union that they are paying properly represents them. i know that's a radical idea and a lot of people think that jurisdiction should be strictly followed that once you're in a union the afl-cio rules should not be about to go to an independent union there's not many independent union options or the treasury employees if you think of them as one, the united electrical workers and the independent option, the national health care workers and the npa is independent. one of the groups i worked within canada back in the late 1980's that came to see the merger with the union was a province union in quebec, 145, civil war was actually printed in one of the shops which is now part of the canadian communications energy paperwork
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terse. in quebec and that period i was struck by how much more on the ball the unions were because you had too much of the competing federation said the contracts were of the shorter duration you didn't have to reach to the three or five years to leave the position for the vote if you were unhappy with your incumbent representative, and the workers got their phone calls returned, the business agents came out and worked with this to words in bargaining because they knew that if they were not responsive to the rank-and-file members they would go to the federation and there was a lot of hopping around, and that was an important tool of the rank and file power, which i think react in the many contacts today's a different perspective on what is often denigrated and demonized when in fact one person's reef
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is another person's movement. [laughter] >> i want to put in a plug for something that somebody brought up international women's day is i want to put in a plug for the foundation that a man often called the remarks foundation and one of the things we do at the burger marks foundation is we do provide funds to the women organizers for a period of time, so if you're interested in doing that, check out our website at and there's an interesting history of how we can to be so i want to put in a plug for the foundation but i also want to comment that a lot of the labor wars, certainly not what happened in california or puerto rico but a lot of them are like right here inside the beltway. i'm sure this court in 2008 on the ground and the election campaign where everybody can together to elect barack obama and it didn't seem like there
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were those divisions and so maybe you could comment a little bit about how much of this is kind of flowing from the inside the beltway jockeying for what is viewed sometimes as a shrinking pie in terms of members and that is at the heart of this is these unions are struggling and looking for, struggling with money and membership and they are looking for the easy get and, you know, how can we maintain the level of service and power that we have and so i think a lot of it is inside the beltway and out and maybe you can, on that aspect of the civil war and labor. >> one of the things i do talk about in the book about the entanglement in obamacare as i call it, and i know we are not
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supposed to use that term, the only time i refer to it, the entitlement they didn't have the same ring. i do talk a lot about the work that linda and brother larry cony and the former congressman did with the national labor coordinating committee which was an attempt to create a united front during the first year of the obama administration. nine or ten of the largest unions change to win the independent aiea. that effort foundered over time i think as a result of the afl-cio feeling somewhat overshadowed by this projected number velo structure that would have involved a pooling of resources certainly for the political election purposes. the idea seems to have been revived in the new format and the labor formation which we have been reading about in the last couple of weeks as the inside the beltway response to the public sector crisis and it
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seems to be a version of the national labor coordinating strategy for at least pulling some money for the coordinated political work around the threat to the bargaining rights. my own experience i'm a hard core left syndicate and the unity between the workers and different unions is going to be built from the bottom-up and hours involved had the privilege of being involved for 25 years and creating a very strong tie between the i dw representative telephone workers in new england and the cwa workers within what was originally new york and the motel and became atlantic and is now this monster verizon. in the course of many years of contract can penzance tricks and a joint bargaining we are able to accomplish things that would never have been, could never have been dictated from the top getting together with the head
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of the i dw and vice versa. these things have to be organic and based on relationships a local level that ignore the difference between the brand which basically is about the difference among the number of unions as how they actually function. workers themselves, local elected leaders, as do words can develop the cross union relationships and joint campaigns that really feel more like a workers union like what we have seen in madison. it doesn't look like the people of madison are marching in the line with their respective union colors it looks like they are all together, right? in the way the labor movement should and people are not thinking first along the number of the cwa or the s clu. it's about us and we add all of us, and what we can accomplish so, i think the response of the
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clc around the country on the way to direct to the top in 2005 a lot of people are very worried about what happened and people with the local level seem to have more sense of the value of the long-term relationships and the solidarity charter mechanism developed and actually in most places is relatively little of the expected or the feared disruption of the labor union -- unity regardless of what the people did here or in the area of working together or not. let's hear from some other folks, any other topics that we seem to be missing. >> i'm from the newspaper guild. one of the labor journalists here. it struck me for many years but there's one thing of the movement really lacks. we are spread all over the lot and get involved in every single cause known to man and we don't
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have a unified seem. as much as i hate to quote him, richard trumka on the ptsd and i'd actually articulate it one. he said you shouldn't have to choose between your rights and your job. now turn that around and make it positive, we are working for our rights. first of all do you agree and second, do you treat it in the book? >> i tried to provide sex symbols of how we need to train our issues and project the sites and avoid being so easily targeted as a shrinking island of relative privilege when we had ever bigger ibw-cwa strikes of 89, 60,000 members of the union's outperform us. even then the fact that there
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was no premium contribution by the workers of the unions which is with the management wanted as a concession in 1989. and to get to this day we knew how i would look to the other workers who were paying into the nose out of their paychecks every week for the job based medical coverage pledge to lift the plus the larger deductibles and co-payments. so we see that fight as a fight for health care for all, not the cuts and we build alliances in the position for the national health program and jesse jackson, anybody else out there fighting for the national health insurance and use the strike to the education around the issue of the national health insurance because we knew there was going to be a little sympathy for the workers having in their personal home health care garage was demonized despicable last year by bachus and harry reid and then president obama as a cadillac. you remember the debate about
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the cadillac of benefits that needed to be taxed to restrain the contribution they make to the medical cost inflation and to raise millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars of subsidized private health insurance coverage for the under and the uninsured, which is the core of this. we knew then that what we had through the years of struggle at verizon and other companies wasn't a cadillac it was a chevy. everybody should have it, and if we don't universalize the demand for the pensions, paid time off which would be by statute, not by the private negotiation, if we don't find a way to beef up the social security, increasingly there is going to be a parting of the private sector against the public sector and the different sectors of the
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public and private sector against each other. it's not a new phenomena. i was on a talk-radio show during the strike in 1981 in boston and got a call from an plant which he is no more and he was outraged because those people when you sit at a screen all they wanted a four day workweek and a humongous wage increase and retirement and this guy was ranting and raving and don't they know what it's like and how difficult it is to be an autoworker and think you very much, brother, the hostess kind of chuckling. the u. av the dw comes over and this was one dumb governor because when you get somebody else's struggle in that way, you're going to be next and he was next and they went
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throughout the auto industry, and we constantly have to minimize the tendency of people one or two down on the economic ladder rather than a cheering those who are trying to move on to the spot a little bit higher up kind of waiting for them to slide down as well which benefits no one as we know. >> i want to broaden not just a little bit and we got several words in the labor movement here but can we talk a little bit about the international labour movement and the fabulous work that you do with folks in colombia? >> let's talk about international women's day because i don't want to neglect the fact that 10,000 women and call center workers with the help from the cwa and germany, the chinese international women's day is the basis for solidarity aimed at winning some kind of organizing rights agreement of what is now 100% on how union wireless company
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t-mobile and heavily in germany so this is an example of the cross border not exactly bargained to organize the campaign looking to the stronger partner abroad in the german telephone workers union to put pressure on the parent company to stop the kind of harassment for the violation of the workers' rights that is hard for the t-mobile workers to organize in the retail stores. the other program that i think is referred to is one that is called union to union which some have pursued for ten or 12 years now in my old the district one in the northeast we developed and 200 to a partnership with a colombian public sector union and for six years and the locals every year and raised $10,000 we transmit to the solidarity
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center and we have had a series of exchanges between the colombian trade unions in this group and activists going to columbia and the previous president of columbia uribe and the delegation and a year or two ago around the violation of the workers' rights in colombia and again i think the lesson of that model is its bottom-up, its workers to worker, its we are not relying on the national endowment money. i will say the solidarity senator husbandry helpful in its -- throughout the ten years that we -- carey was one of the staffers that helped get it off the ground. >> 10 cents per member, per year. that is bottom-up. >> not a lot of money but it's not a mandatory assessment. a local house to care enough about the program, has to have
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had some members who met the courageous unions to be put on tour. the have had to have done joint work fighting the agreements and the dreadful plan columbia like the war mechem iraq and afghanistan during of billions of dollars, tax dollars out of the country that could go much more profitably to these budget deficits we hear so much about in wisconsin, indiana, ohio and so on down the line. >> thanks. >> which reminds me we have the brothers here who is along with bald and others of the leader of u.s. leverage against of the war perhaps we could handle that new fly your. i would highly recommend the chart on the back of this flier. we need to retrain the debate about what we need to do to protect public jobs and services. right now, you know, the limits
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of the labor proposal seems to be well, tax the rich tax reform for a much-needed. we don't have a strong enough push for the single-payer which would achieve enormous savings and take the pressure off the bargaining with the in the public and private sector on the job base the benefits but as the fly your points out, you really want to deal with this problem of the fiscal crisis in the public sector you have to recapture the money that has been squandered on the war in direct spending close to a trillion dollars of the last eight to nine years, and i think it's sad that those of us in our generation of courts i include myself in this group came out of the movement in the 60's and ended up as the president succeeded united and here and in prominent positions and other unions and brother trumka have
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not taken the kind of continuing strong stand and the need to cut the pentagon budget and reorder the national priorities and shift this tax spending in a kind of direction that would save jobs and improve public services and make life better for people in this country and the need to do that and i think the popular in favor of doing that some mystery to me what they are afraid of. i did a piece a couple weeks ago a lot of people liked about the labor movement meeting another by that represented a union with lots of folks doing military worked briefly advocated conversion campaign for nuclear disarmament and continually argued with his own members about the need to end our dependence on the production of armaments. >> one of the things i wanted to mention -- >> well you didn't get enough. >> larry is the new president of the risk of undressing him.
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[applause] >> he starts today program inside to discuss the military budgeting and you can't solve mass transit problems if you have all this mother terrie stock and it takes a lot of guts, but if you do it members will respond to it. >> i want to raise something different though they and what you asked me about. i was in madison and one of the ways we thought, obviously is a teachable moment. others ask me the question and friends of mine who were not in the labor movement and don't know about the we will find ask me this question so how did you get to this situation? how did you get so weak? it happened on our watch. how did we get here?
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and i think we have some good answers to that, mostly globalization, productivity, and the technology productivity and the destruction of the labor movement, but there is another 1i was on some radio talk shows and meetings and stuff in wisconsin, and it seems to me that we also have to not just talk about the facts of what is happening but treat them as symptoms and what is the cause of the symptoms if you are a nurse he will try to figure out what actually is going on. one of the things i think we have not done well in the labor movement is trying to figure that out. and look, if we don't talk about
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what is really behind all of correct this and move in different directions a look, everyone in the room knows all these different terms and phrases, the neil liverpool, neoconservative, washington consensus on the corporate agenda, whenever you want to call it is real. and if we don't talk about that as a set of ideas that has really resulted in the mess that we are and not just in the trade union but all of us, all americans, i think that we miss it and i just in the simple terms i was on the talk shows and say what is really going on here. let me tell a story and then let's think about what is going on in wisconsin. the free market solves all
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problems there for anything that gets in the way of the free market is bad. therefore the government gets in the way and we have to cut taxes and we have to be regulated. if there's anything left that's any good we have to privatize it and there's something else that gets in the week-old unions so we have to eliminate them. that's it, isn't it? it is a whole thing that fits together. so hello what is evident to wisconsin? it's not just the elimination of the union privatizing stuff, privatizing the utility's. so i feel like first of all i
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want to thank you for the book which i haven't read, and actually i would ask you to give it to me i will fight. >> in the second edition in this conversation i think we have to get beyond just describing were talking about is going on but really try to understand and explain what is really behind all this and the institutional labor movement really does not talk in these terms, and i don't see how we solve any of this unless we pull it all together and step back and say there is really something big here and it fits together and explains it all and we better explain to the people walking around the capitol when madison that this is what it's about and
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rebuild the voice of the working people >> i think that you are right on target. we are obviously all enthusiastic about what we hoped could have developed in the summer of 2009 when the right-wing popular and the tea party seemed to be in ascendancy and for buddy was saying one is our side going to rally and mobilize and there was a little bit of that belated one nation march but not with this kind of degree of intensity and spontaneity and mass participation. i would agree that that has to be bolstered longer-term by the kind of education that makes the most of this moment, and going to be headed down sooner in the book tour to hang out with the united association of the labor educators and the leadership of the curve and i know labour
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educators also frustrated by the fact that with a shrinking constituency continuing pressure to focus on the nuts and bolts of the day-to-day union work and contract administration the kind of big picture popular economics training that bill fletcher tried to introduce when he was the education director briefly at the afl-cio there seems to be less and less time for it, but if we don't get back to the more traditional forms, the more fundamental forms of the labor and education, political and education about the system, people continue to be confused as you say about the root cause of the onslaught that they are facing every day on the job and like the one in madison. >> it's not like labor and education. it is so much a part of what is governing this country now.
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and in popular education we start off as we say if anyone here has ever been in a bar. vlore school and some of them have three legs, right? bargaining, politics and organizing but some of them have four legs and it's called the war of ideas. we have not engaged in that, we haven't explained what is really going on, and i just this discussion is wonderful. just step back and explain, we have to do this work also and paint the bigger picture of what is really going on in this country. >> let me second bald's of laws. people don't know the great work that he did as a leader of the
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bus drivers a wonderful case study in building the connections between the labor and the community to the public sector workers and the people they serve on some conservative turf and the big apple, and larry along with the election of brothers and a in 100 new york hopefully the you're going to change the face of the transportation unions. john has been along with his take back the union team rebuilding that g local from the rubble of to to a 2005 strike which the members pay a terrible price. the contract is up in january and they are running already a very active contract campaign with a lot of attention on how to enlist the users of the bus and the subway system as allies. i want to go back quickly go to the question that david raised that i think we need to address
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political action and it is an endless puzzle and a problematic one for the unions trying to find the forms of pressure on the democrats from the left. you know, certainly we have to realize the limits of the kind of mottled by partisanship that we have seen some of the unions pursue that it decided under the worst example of this that the way to teach the democrats a lesson is by shoveling more money in the direction of the republicans coming and was a disgrace that in 2004, 2005 they gave the republican governors association over half a million dollars and the current governor of indiana whose attacks on the workers' rights in the public sector and now the private sector become a model for the recently elected gop governors have been trying to get away with an ohio and in wisconsin.
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as recently as the most recent election cycle they gave another $200,000 to the republican governors association. haley barbour -- i don't know if anybody would expect to get by seizing those kind of debts. this issue of the nation has an article about the very active and strong and hopefully successful single-payer campaign in vermont and describes the role of the unions and supporting at, the critical role played by the vermont workers association, and the critical role played by the independent political action enforcing these democrats to do what they state or anywhere else and certainly not under howard dean, the new governor. he's doing what he's doing on the single-payer front going down to obamacare of the state level at the extent that is possible and as fast as possible and it's pretty slow because the
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strong democratic majority in both houses of the legislature and himself have to deal with a viable political formation from the left that the party in vermont house members of the house as now elected a state senator and have an independent socialist. senator bernie sanders who has been a very important part of the political equation and the progressives are also strong in the state's largest city. and unless you have a formation like that that has been campaigning for the single-payer in vermont since the mid-1970s this is not some new idea that democrats just came up with in this session of the legislature in montreal your. the tendency is going to be to drift to the center and further right you end up with a kind of mishmash that came out of the congress last year when we could have gotten more and better and something that would have put us on the road to hopefully the more inclusive and cost effective and less wasteful social insurance systems to keep
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an eye on vermont and the real lesson of it is that if we build upon the political alternatives, we can make these people more accountable. any final thoughts? i think pam is going to -- yes, right here putative >> we have one more question. if i can ask you, steve, to take one more question. before we break up tonight, folks, i would like to announce that the busboys and poets have started a new labor series. we would like to -- [applause] thank you so much. we would like to draw more people into this american labor movement. this has felt like a kind of internal discussion in many ways and we want to draw some new folks in sweden during the first week of each month. if you look on the web site deinze more information at the series. we are going to give final question. spackled lee april 4th this can be one of the venues the great connection can be made between the sacrifice of the reverend martin luther king and the
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workers strike and the struggles to date to april 4th has now been declared to be the day of action of all claims. hopefully there will be an event here as well. >> my name is thomas, i'm one of the members of the union you may have read about us somewhere around. we are inspired -- [applause] >> direct action. islamic inspired by the protest in wisconsin in the d.c. area in the past nine days the bank of america branches have been shut down by direct action. i will keep this very brief. my question is, and i haven't read your book i just picked up we speak about the leaders of war and i would just like to ask what the role of our enemies are in creating the of the civil war mike and exacerbating those. >> very good question. i think clearly the greatest obstacles the unions face to the growth and the revival of the
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external forces are the power of the corporate class, the campaign of extermination has been waged in the private sector that is now spreading in the public sector, the aiding and abetting of this by some of our purported friends and the democratic party. you know, it is a very complicated dance, and i think that we have seen that plea of in distressing ways and kaiser in california. this was a company that has long been lauded as a model the labor management partnering for the respect for the workers' rights, the rights of work dated the eleanor roosevelt human rights award several years ago. but if you look at the kaiser track record of the unfair labor practices the last 12 months it is abominable. the kaiser permanente partnership with what i think has the often behave like a company union in the last year or to their it has included a
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massive violation of the rights of workers 2300 of them voted to change the unions. a slow-moving and dysfunctional as always issued a major complaint and filed for the injunction that kaiser just settled paying workers $2 million. money that was owed to them under the terms of the contract which kaiser refused to keep in effect while the new bargaining representative, the expression of the employee free choice and the any each w was renegotiating the contract terms. so when something like this has been awarded and tout and praised for the good behavior misbehaves, we need to find ways to hold it accountable. there are 24 or 25 other unions and the kaiser partnership and most watched smaller than the
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other unions outside of it in addition to the california nurses and even in these partnerships unions can go bad and we have seen some examples of that with xerox recently which operates the call centers and is very aggressive in its boston directed to the cwa and other unions. so i don't think that we can rest on the morals if you think the relationships that have been built based on the partnership principals are worth pursuing, everybody ought to be calling in employers like kaiser out around the well documented partner of the activity which actually started at kaiser in 2005 when they busted the call center worker campaign conducted by the cwa, but on partnership union because the employer only wanted to do with partnership unions and the partnership unions didn't stick up for the call center workers and the employee free choice and their exercise of the right to form and join
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the union of their choosing. we saw the failure to get a first contract and in fact the behavior, and a speeder by the kaiser that has become really pronounced over the last 12 months come 18 months in california. so, i want to thank everybody for coming. if you can't get a book tonight, go to, a haymarket-related website and think you can allow for hosting. >> absolutely. we are going to bring a table up front. [applause] we are going to bring a table up front so steve can sign some books. if you give us a minute to get that set up i'm sure that he wouldn't mind doing some signing for us here tonight. >> this event was hosted by busboys and poets in washington, d.c.. for more information, visit
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